Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday April 3
20 — Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, April 3, 2014 www.times.co.nz FOLLOW US ON 124018-V4 OB1983NE W VEHIC LE IVAN AGNEW: The combination of returning stars and emerging toilers has the Blues poised to make a run for the Super Rugby finals play-offs. ➤ Page 19 HPCC just avoid demotion FENCIBLES’ TOM MENS Photo supplied / NZSportPix.com By DANIEL SILVERTON THE Howick Pakuranga (HPCC) premier team will rest easy over winter having staved off relegation from the top tier of Auckland club cricket. Entering the final round of the Hedley Howarth Trophy two-day competition last month, second- last placed HPCC were perilously close to being dropped to the Tom Hellaby Trophy minor champion- ship for next season. Less than a point separated second-last HPCC and their hosts, bottom-ranked Grafton United, meaning the match was a fight for survival in the elite division. The possibility of relegation is an unfamiliar position for HPCC and head coach Dipak Patel, despite the club’s depth perennially tested in the absence of representative players. This year Patel had to find replacements for, at various times, Black Caps Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan and Colin Munro, Auckland Aces Donovan Grob- belaar and Colin de Grandhomme and national under-19 representa- tive Shawn Hicks. “It’s been a very strange season for us,” Patel told the Times. “In the past we’ve managed to cope with top players not being available, but this year we have really struggled.” HPCC went into day one of the final match on March 23 just 0.30 points ahead of Grafton. Captain Andrew de Boorder delivered HPCC the upper hand with a superb 115 not out from 182 balls, hitting just seven boundaries in an innings of great patience. De Boorder was Auckland Cricket’s club players’ player of the year in 2013 and finished sec- ond in runs scored with 1200 at an average of 54.5, including five cen- turies across all forms. In 2013/14, he has scored 838 runs in seven fewer matches, aver- aging 56.2, and saved his most cru- cial knock for last. “Nothing changes as far as Andrew’s concerned,” says Patel. “For him to produce a very high- class innings as good as anything you’d see at first-class or club level, was outstanding and the boys bat- ted around him to get the total.” Led by the skipper’s unbeaten century and contributions from Andrew Morrison (44), Abrar Alam (31) and Hicks (33), HPCC were dismissed for a commanding 290 in the 95th over. Starting at 6-1 on day two last Saturday, Grafton’s reply was in further early trouble when Chris Lakov, HPCC’s leading wicket taker this season, snared three quick dismissals. HPCC had the victory in sight and relegation in their wake with Grafton on 79-7 shortly after lunch, but a massive last-ditch partner- ship caused some consternation. Grafton number four Bill Walsh and tail-ender Andy Lane put on 143 runs for the eighth wicket to keep the relegation bat- tle alive into the final session of the season. “We got into such a good posi- tion,” says Patel. “The boys bowled their hearts out and didn’t quite the finish the job. We got a bit complacent and those guys batted very well.” Fittingly, it was de Boorder who removed Walsh lbw for 100 for his only wicket from 16 overs of valu- able spin bowling, with Grafton finishing on 229-9. HPCC survived being dropped from the major championship by just 1.02 points, meaning celebra- tions were subdued for Patel and his team. “We have mixed emotions at the moment. We managed to stay up, but it’s not the ideal situation. “We’ll get over it and start plan- ning to make sure we don’t get into this position again.” Suburbs New Lynn won the Hedley Howarth Trophy to go with their 50-over title, while Grafton will be replaced by Tom Hellaby Trophy cham- pions and promotion winners University. CAPTAIN’S KNOCK: Andrew de Boorder rescued Howick Pakuranga’s premier team from relegation with an unbeaten century and crucial wicket in the final match of the season. Times photo Daniel Silverton SPORTS BITES Leaders combine for win PAKURANGA United opened its defence of Auckland Rugby’s regular season and championship titles with a gritty 21-15 victory over Papatoetoe last Saturday. Playing in front of their home fans at Bell Park for the first time as reigning Alan McEvoy Shield and Gallaher Shield holders, PIC Insurance Pakuranga were held to 8-8 at halftime by Papatoetoe. Captain Aula Silipa (try) and veteran Gareth Arlidge (penalty goal) combined for Pakuranga’s first half points, and a second five-pointer to Silipa and a conversion and two further penalties by Arlidge secured their side’s win in the second 40 minutes. Pakuranga faces College Rifles, first-up winners over Grammar TEC 29-19, at 2.45pm this Saturday at Bell Park. Super subs seal victory A SCORELESS first half disguised what would become a dominant 3-0 home victory for Fencibles United over Claudelands Rovers in round one of Lotto NRFL division two football. In last Saturday’s second half, Fencibles coach Grant Robertson brought on attacking substitute Jayden Henry who scored his side’s first goal for 2014 soon after. Zane Christiansen also came off the bench to good effect by netting Fencibles’ second goal, with Scott Booker rounding out the scoring. Fencibles next match is away against Lynn-Avon, who are coming off a 1-8 hiding from Papakura City.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday March 31
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